This past weekend, I was fortunate enough to attend the inaugural ArchCON in St. Louis, MO. It would be a massive understatement to say that I had a great time. I came away from the event feeling like my time had been well spent and that I had learned a lot.
The two-day event included optional training courses (for extra fee) on Friday. The two available courses were Malware Analysis, taught by Tyler Hudak and Network Analysis with the Bro Platform taught by Liam Randall. I chose the malware course, although I would have loved to have taken the Bro class as well.
The malware class was a one-day version of what is normally a two-day course. Tyler started out the day teaching about basic static analysis and then moved into dynamic analysis after lunch. There was plenty of hands-on work to keep you interested and involved. Tyler provided an excellent course manual that included the material for the full two-day class. The class was very good and I felt like I came away better off for having attended.
The conference continued on Saturday with the full line-up of speakers. ArchC0N reminded me of another conference that started off with a bang, the WACCI conference a few years back. ArchC0N had some of the biggest names in infosec, a three track lineup of speakers, provided lunch both days and did all of this for an extremely low price. The keynote speakers were Richard Bejtlich, Bruce Schneier, Emily Brandwin and Charlie Miller. Sadly, I had to hit the road before Charlie Miller spoke, but I found the other three keynotes very good. Emily Brandwin was a very pleasant surprise and I enjoyed her talk, which had nothing to do with infosec.
The list of speakers for all the sessions was just as impressive. It was very difficult to pick which ones to attend, due to the high quality of all the sessions. You can view the speakers lineup on the ArchC0N site. I attended great talks by Kyle Wilhoit, Ken Johnson, Tyler Hudak, Scott Roberts and Kyle Maxwell. There were others I wanted to attend, but could only find the means to be in one place at one time.
I want to say kudos to Paul Jaramillo and Jason Barnes for putting together a fantastic first of what I hope will be many many annual returns. I also want to thank the sponsors. You can't hold such a great conference without the backing of some great sponsors and I appreciate their doing so.
If you didn't make it to ArchC0N this year, I urge you to be there next year. Our part of the country needs more conferences and I'm thrilled Paul and Jason took the bull by the horns and got the job done.